Tuesday, 17 March 2015

"...working in partnership with the surrounding communities every step of the way"

This is what Aggregate Industries says about its local quarry operations in the glossy Straitgate brochure.

But when it came to a very simple request… nothing.

For all those people who didn’t go to AI’s public exhibitions, we had hoped to put the company’s display board plans on this website. SLR’s Technical Director Planning & Estate Management and AI’s Estates Manager agreed to send them to us.

However, three requests and two weeks later, these plans are still not forthcoming. Requests for AMEC's groundwater report have also gone unanswered.

Many people could be affected by AI’s plans for Straitgate - B3180 - Woodbury Common, not just those living in Ottery St Mary and West Hill - the village of Woodbury for example, AI's 'Plan B' transport route. And many people were unable to attend the exhibitions because of the late notice or other commitments; some local people - including major neighbouring landowners - simply weren’t told.

With AI’s juggernaut quarry proposal about to roll up on Ottery’s doorstep, what possible reason could there be for not making these plans - plans already made public once - available for wider scrutiny? Now is the time for openness and transparency, not stonewalling. Or does AI still have things to hide?

Those who did attend AI’s exhibitions raised a range of concerns about the company’s plans - from the younger generation pointing out AI's apparent disregard for emissions and climate change, to the older generation worried about HGVs and safety.

Not everyone at the exhibition, however, was offered the opportunity to record these concerns. If you still wish to do so, you can email them to Aggregate Industries at straitgate@aggregate.com.